July 23, 2019

Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo Set for Late March

Anglers anxiously awaiting the snow melt, ice out and the opening of fishing season, can learn the latest fishing techniques and visit with guides, sporting camps and a variety of angling exhibitors at the first Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo to be held Saturday, March 24 at the Bethel Inn Conference Center in Bethel, Maine. The Expo runs from 9:30 am to 4 pm and is sponsored by The Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance. Admission is $5 for adults and free for youth 15 and under.

Exhibitors include Maine and New Hampshire outfitters and guide services, sporting camps, wildlife artists and authors, The Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the University of Maine 4H Camp, and boat and gear manufacturers. Attendees can learn the art of fly tying, rod building and wildlife photography. There will be educational seminars on ecology and entomology as well as instruction in strategies and techniques in fishing for trout, salmon and bass. HMH Vises is sponsoring a fly tying contest. Sponsors and exhibiting vendors are giving away dozens of door prizes every hour. Proceeds from an auction of items including guided trips, sporting camp vacations and fly fishing gear will go toward fishing habitat restoration projects and river access in the Western Maine region. [Read more…]

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Open Thread – February 17, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not relevant to the content of articles posted on this web site. Thank you.

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The Daily Show Examines P.E.T.A.’s Lawsuit On Behalf of Orca Whales

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Maine Fish and Wildlife Funding Woes

Every governmental agency has to balance revenue with expenditures……well, “any responsible government agency” – and that phrase in quotations is truly an oxymoron. The State of Maine suffers many of the same problems as other states in outspending the revenue coming in. So what does a fish and game department do?

In this instance it must be recognized that just about every state in this country is struggling with budget issues. Much of the reason is simply a lack of tax generated revenue that isn’t meeting the desires to spend money.

However, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) doesn’t get it’s funding from general taxation. While some of its funds come from taxes on sporting goods-related products and services, the bulk comes from the collection of licensing and registration fees from users. So why should there be a shortage of revenue or overspending?

One of the reasons I have written about extensively over the years – too many non game programs being run by the MDIFW using sportsman’s money to pay for them. So, this is clearly one avenue in which the State and MDIFW can work to correct. Perhaps it is time to pay for all non game programs with general taxation and/or user fees for those that generally play for free. This effort would require budget rewrites and cuts or tax increases for other departments that would pay for the programs and services.

As they would say in Maine, I’m a “wicked” fiscal conservative. I don’t believe in throwing money at a problem and hope it fixes it. In trying economic times, as we are facing today, Maine sportsmen, citizens and all government agencies have to “suck it up”, as the saying goes. This requires making unpopular decisions by making short term decisions that will play well into long term planning.

George Smith, former executive direction for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), writes on his blog today that MDIFW is short $900,000 with 5 months remaining in this current budget period. He also writes that MDIFW has $1.2 million in its “reserve” account and some are hollering to use that money to meet the demands of MDIFW.

Smith also writes in his Downeast Magazine blog that: “Two weeks ago the agency’s John Pratte told the committee the deer plan needed an additional $650,000 per year to be fully implemented. Some legislators appear ready to say to DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock: ok, go for it. Take that $650,000 out of your surplus and show us what you can do.” Is using up that surplus money to implement the Deer Plan what Maine should do? Or, use it for other needs within the department?

Whoa, is the cry in demanding some kind of fiscal responsibility, including transparency, from any government agency but there is one very clear thing that is too easily forgotten these days; keeping the license buyers and fee payers happy. After all, they are the biggest source of revenue and the ones with the real investment here.

While we can all harp and debate about how efficiently and effectively MDIFW spends the money it has, that department needs desperately to convince its investors that they are wise stewards of our money. Without that, all the rest is simply a practice in futility.

I ask, when was the last time any MDIFW administration went out of their way to convince the stakeholders, i.e. the revenue generators, that their money is being wisely invested?

Getting the MDIFW house in order is only one aspect of the formula for responsible management. If MDIFW can convince fee payers their existence means something and the majority of the focus is put back on providing opportunities, the department would be on the way to curing the revenue stream.

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that easy but it certainly would go a long way.

To increase revenue, there has to be satisfied users of the resources. If the hunting and fishing resources stink, it only stands to reason license sales will drop, and of course that means a reduction in revenue. The above suggestion of making the sportsmen happy will go a long way toward the start of rebuilding more license buyers.

Let’s face it. The only way you can sell hunting licenses is to have ample opportunities to hunt game or fish for fish, etc. The lousy deer herd has certainly cut into license sales and will continue to do so until things change.

But there are things MDIFW can do for the short term that would bolster license sales. Staring the state squarely in the face are two huge opportunities for both hunters and the MDIFW. Maine has probably the largest black bear population of any state in the Union. It was also recently announced by Lee Kantar, MDIFW head deer and moose biologist, that the moose population has grown to 75,000 or more. MDIFW needs to jump all over these two situations and accomplish two things. 1.) Provide more hunting opportunities for hunters, both in state and out of state, and 2.) Increased opportunities directly relates to increase revenue. This would help pick up the slack of a current $900,000 shortfall.

Maine must not just jump at the opportunity to grab all or some of the $1.2 million surplus without being responsible. It’s simple really: 1.) MDIFW and sportsmen need to back off on the demands for money at a time when all departments need to tighten their belts. 2.) MDIFW needs to convince license and fee buyers it is THEIR interest that is being guarded and protected and prove to them that they really have no place else to cut spending. 3.) Work toward finding how structurally to provide funding for non game programs through other departments and/or user fees for the free loaders. 4.) Take advantage of the very large bear and moose populations and provide opportunities NOW. That will give a short term increase to revenue.

If these efforts are undertaken, the short term will set the stage of long term success. I will unequivocally state that MDIFW cannot be successful and maintain a quality and responsible budget if their only attempt comes in raising fees or confiscating tax money from some place else. A quality product will yield more revenue. With continued fiscal discipline and responsibility, the result will be a well functioning fish and game department that more closely resembles the days when the sportsmen actually felt they had ownership and those “in charge” listened to them.

In closing, I might caution the efforts of some in Augusta. While the scramble is on to find money, it is prudent that in consideration of all sources of revenue, the big picture is kept in clear perspective.

Smith writes to readers that Senate President Kevin Raye has launched an effort to find other means of revenue:

In the meantime, a separate effort has been launched by Senate President Kevin Raye to find new revenue sources for DIF&W. Participating in discussions with Raye are the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, Maine Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and the Maine Tourism Association.

Not all of these agencies have the same goals as the sportsmen who pay the bills at MDIFW. It is their investment and any perceived desperation of lacking funds that result in seeking revenue elsewhere, should never compromise the strong Maine heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping for the mere sake of throwing more money at a problem.

Tom Remington

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Rabies, Wolves and Tyranny

Guest blog by Jim Beers:

Upon return from a recent 4,000 mile drive through the Southwestern and Western US, my inbox contained numerous requests for information about wolves as vectors of rabies. The following tome on this important matter is an attempt to inform 21st century Americans about something they have conveniently forgotten. I make no apology for its length: if you find it boring, you would never do anything to right this wrong anyway.

Who doesn’t know “about” rabies? Bats get rabies and it spreads quickly through their numbers. All animals contracting rabies die a slow, painful death during which they bite and injure other animals thereby spreading rabies. Dogs “get” rabies shots (preventative vaccines) not only to protect humans and other animals but because of nationwide laws that mandate such shots under strict and heavy penalties. Rabies “shots” for persons or animals suspected of having contracted rabies are not as painful or intimidating (a series of shots from a large hypodermic in the stomach area) as they used to be but failure to get quick treatment can surely end in death.

The World Health Organization tells us:
– “All wild and domestic animals can contract and spread rabies.”
– “If symptoms develop, rabies is nearly always fatal.”
– “55,000 people per year die from rabies.”
– “15 million people per year receive treatment for rabies thus saving an estimated 327,000 human lives per year.”
– “99% of all human rabies is contracted from dogs.”
– Most rabies cases are in Asia and Africa.”

Many years ago I worked with another USFWS law enforcement officer that had to “get rabies shots” in the late 1940’s. He was bitten by a muskrat thrown into an airboat during a night bird banding operation in Canada for molting ringneck ducks. The vaccine in those days was made with an albumen base and he could never again eat anything (cake, bread, biscuit -anything) made with egg whites without a violent reaction that might kill him.

To paraphrase a vicious animal rights maven (A boy is a rat, etc.); a wolf is a dog is a coyote. Wolves, dogs (all of them), and coyotes interbreed freely and produce fertile offspring. “Fertile offspring” is a clue. “Fertile” means that, unlike mules produced by crossing horses and donkeys,
wolf/dog crosses are simply another dog or wolf as the case may be like the puppies produced when your neighbors Labrador “gets at” (to be sensitive here) your basset hound when she is “in heat”.

For purposes of this discussion; wolves are wild dogs, dogs are domesticated wolves, and coyotes are smaller (i.e. than wolves) wild dogs. Dogs live in and around human habitations. Coyotes live generally solitary lives in and around where they are born. Wolves range far and wide while ranging mostly in family groups or “packs”. They each eat fresh meat whenever available ranging from wild animals to domestic animal of all types including other dogs/wolves/coyotes. Depending on their size (from 150 lb. wolves to 10 lb. daschound), physical attributes (from short legs to “pug’ face to the
massive jaw strength of wolves), and environment (from Northern forests to Long Island mansion); all of them are quite capable of killing large animals and even family members of their owners. Each contracts, carries, and spread rabies. Dogs (in North America) get rabies shots. Wolves and coyotes get no shots (excepting of course those from a rifle). Wolves move in groups and therefore, like bats, rabies infections move swiftly to other wolves thereby magnifying their roles as vectors of this as well as many other diseases and infections.

Oh, and then there is the one big thing to never forget. Wolves; the largest, most dangerous, and most destructive of these animals; were purposely eradicated over a 200 year period from the Lower 48 (i.e. settled landscapes covered with human communities) States with two exceptions. The States ( like all the others that Constitutionally held authority over all “resident” wild animals) of Montana and Minnesota, with the consent of their residents tolerated small, remnant wolf populations that were controlled when attacks or property destruction occurred or when wolves appeared in locations where they were not tolerated. All wolves in the Lower 48 States today (including Montana and Minnesota) are there ONLY present because of federal intervention and protection. This means that when; as you are about to discover; a wolf or wolves spread rabies or attack a child or kill a camper or (all these and more are in store) never forget that they are present among us because of the manipulation of unjust federal power by environmental extremists, animal rights radicals, pandering politicians, prevaricating professors, and ruthless federal and state bureaucrats. Those involved have assured promotions, grants, bonuses, retirement positions, retirement to gated communities, salaries in the hundreds of thousands per
year, tenure, prestige, and vastly increased government power that some would call tyrannical as a result of their participation in this wolf return to the Lower 48 States.

What you are about to read was NOWHERE mentioned in all the EIS’s and other government documents created to justify the wolf’s return. Contrast that fact with the way that drives to stop logging or a dam, close farming areas or irrigation projects, eliminate grazing or mining, prevent a pipeline or energy project, etc., generates reams of paper from taxpayer “studies” that serve as the basis for a lawsuit that either causes the citizen victim to go broke or submit to a government edict that destroys private property, communities, local governments, and all manner of human activities. What you are about to read, is but one small part of what was withheld from the public and small though it may be if it does not shake your confidence in “our” government, you aren’t paying attention.

THE WOLVES OF NORTH AMERICA by Stanley Young and Edward Goldman was published by the American Wildlife Institute in 1944. It is a 600 page volume that attempts “to bring together the widely scattered literature of historical import concerning the wolves of North America, from the earliest times to the present day.” Stanley Young began his federal career as a government trapper and hunter in the western US for the Bureau of Biological Survey around the time of the First World War (1914-1918). At the time he wrote this book he was the Chief of Predator and Rodent Control in the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, DC.

This book credits over 50 scientists and professors for their help in writing this book. There is an 80 page “References and Selected Bibliography”. There are 131 “Plates”, i.e. photos. There are 25 pages of
wolf skull comparisons and a long, un-numbered Index. Photos cover such diverse items as 11 whelp wolf litters and a truly ugly wolf/dog cross in Missouri to 6-7′ long wolf pelts (big wolves) and tidewater wolf trap sets in SE Alaska.

Although summarizing the wealth of knowledge in this book is a fool’s errand, let me cite and comment on a few items to give you a flavor for the text:

– Wolf presence and densities are always measured as relevant to “Human Welfare”; a quaint notion in our computer age.
– Wolves were finally extirpated after many centuries in England by 1500, in Scotland by 1743, and in Ireland by 1776 (a year also celebrated for another great liberation).
– Biblical references (from a bureaucrat?) such as Christ telling his Apostles “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” are not avoided. This obviously predated the ACLU et al.
– Wolf distribution maps cover nearly every square foot between Greenland and Point Barrow, Alaska to Central Mexico.
– Historical references and quotes from the likes of Puritan Roger Williams (“wolves are fierce bloodsucking persecutors”) to Teddy Roosevelt (wolves are “the beast of waste and desolation”) abound.
– Photos of wolf/coyote crosses and dog/wolf crosses to do everything from pull sleds to guard camps are interspersed with descriptions of how Beowulf means “War Wolf” and how 7th, 8th, and 9th century despots bore names like “Berthwolf”, “Cynewolf”, “Wulfstan”, “Wulfred”, “Wolfwig”, and Ceowulf” to scare and intimidate any challengers or restless serfs.
– How Oregon Wolf Organization meetings (to eradicate wolves) formed the basis for the formation of the Oregon Territorial government.
– How, in 1944 as he wrote, he stated that it would be admirable if wolves were allowed to exist in “Alaska and Northern Canada” but that “rigid control must be maintained where their presence clashes with human welfare”.

While the CONTENTS covers everything from “Fear of Man” and “Attacks on Man” (many, many documented accounts) to “Food of the Wolf” and “Denning and Rearing”, let us go to the 15 pages titled “Natural Checks, Parasites, and Diseases”. In fact, let us go to the five pages (nestled between descriptions of such diseases and infections as smallpox, distemper, tapeworms, gid, tick fevers, encephalitis, and tularemia et al) where RABIES is discussed.

Now 5 pages are a lot to type out for you by an old “hunt and pecker” like me; thus with your patient consent allow me to skim it for you.

RABIES (from WOLVES OF NARTH AMERICA)-

– “Probably one of the most prevalent diseases found in wolves is rabies.”

– “It is related in the ‘Annals Cambriae’ that in 1166 a rabid wolf at Caermarthen bit twenty-two persons, nearly all of whom died.”

– “The records show this disease to be widespread and at times, very severe. The Indians were fully cognizant of the disease and greatly feared it.”

– “The Indian people of the Great Plains at times suffered from hydrophobia (Rabies) caused by the bite of the great buffalo wolf afflicted with rabies. In their crazed condition the wolves sometimes invaded the camps of the people, snapping and biting at them, their dogs and horses. The people through fear shut themselves in their lodges.”

– Regarding rabid wolves, “they went alone roaming aimlessly about, lacking the motions of a hunting wolf, trotting along, at intervals making a circling movement, snapping at the tail or hind parts as they made the circle, keeping up a trot until lost sight of. When killed they showed marks of self-inflicted wounds.”

– Washington Irving recorded at a fur rendezvous: “During this season of folly and frolic there was an alarm of mad wolves in the two lower camps. One or more of these animals entered the camp three nights successively, and bit several of the people. Captain Bonneville relates the case of an Indian, who was a universal favorite in the lower camp. He had been bitten by one of these animals. Being out with a party shortly afterwards, he grew silent and gloomy, and lagged behind the rest as if he wished to leave them. They halted and urged him to move faster, but he entreated them not to approach him, and, leaping from his horse began to roll frantically on the earth gnashing his teeth and foaming at the mouth. Still he retained his senses, and warned his companions not to come near him, as he should not be able to restrain himself from biting them. They hurried off to obtain relief; but on their return he was nowhere to be found. His horse and accoutrements remained on the spot. Three or four days afterward, a
solitary Indian, believed to be the same was observed crossing a valley, and pursued; but he started away into the fastness of the mountains and was seen no more. One of the men of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company had been bitten. He set out shortly afterwards, in company with two white men, on his return to the settlements. In the course of a few days he showed symptoms of hydrophobia, and became raving towards night. At length, breaking away from his companions, he rushed into a thicket of willows, where they left him to his fate.”

– Alexander Henry reported in his 1800 Journal, “Last night the wolves were very troublesome; they kept up a terrible howling at the fort, and even attempted to enter Maymiutch’s tent. A large white one came boldly to the door and was advancing toward a young child, when he was shot dead. Some of them are very audacious. I have known them to follow people for several days, attempt to seize a person or dog, and to be kept off only by firearms. It does not appear that hunger makes them so ferocious, as they have been known to pass carcasses of animals, which they might have eaten to their fill, but they would not touch flesh; their only object seeming to be that of biting. The Canadians swear that these are mad wolves and are very much afraid of them. (Red River near Grand Forks, N.D.)”

– “Mc Gowan believed that the wolf is very much of a carrion eater when there is famine in the land. And furthermore at such times mange is not uncommon and outbreaks of rabies have also been noted by trappers and traders.”

– “Recording his observations in Greenland, as in Canada, Freuchen states ‘Wolves, foxes, and ermines can be infected by it (rabies) and will attack all the dog teams they come across, or at any rate will make no attempt to get out of the way. Until the last moment, and then they will bite thus transferring the infection to the team.'”

– “Mad wolves were apparently recognized by the early trapper-explorers of the Far West. A day or so later (1833) we learned that a mad wolf had got into Mr. Fontenelle’s camp about 5 miles from us and bitten some of his men and horses.. Larpenteur had one of his bulls bitten, which later ‘went mad’ and died shortly after being bitten. As a result of the bitings, George Holmes, a member of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, became afflicted with rabies, and died a horrible and agonizing death.”

– “According to Lt. Col. Dodge Indians say that wolves, not unfrequently go mad, rush into their villages and do great damage. The following most interesting and perfectly authenticated facts are taken from the record of the Hospital at Fort Larned on the Arkansas River. ‘On the 5th August, at 10 PM, a rabid wolf of the large gray species, came into the post and charged round most furiously. He entered the hospital and attacked Corporal ____, who was lying sick in bed, biting him severely in the left hand and right arm. The left little finger was nearly taken off. The wolf next dashed into a party of ladies and gentlemen sitting in Colonel ___’s porch and bit Lieutenant ___ severely in both legs. Leaving there he soon afterward attacked and bit Private ___ in two places. This all occurred in
an incredibly short period of time; and although the above mentioned were the only parties bitten, the animal left the marks of his presence in every quarter of the garrison. He moved with great rapidity, snapping at everything within his reach, tearing tents, window curtains, bed-clothing, etc., in every direction. The sentinel at the guard-house fired over the animal’s back while he ran between the man’s legs. Finally, he charged upon a sentinel at the haystack, and was killed by a well directed and most
fortunate shot. He was a very large wolf, and his long jaws and teeth presented a most formidable appearance.”

– Indians “say that the appearance of mad wolves in their village is not infrequent; that the time of year at which they are most often seen is in the months of February and March; that once having entered the village, the wolf will make no attempt to leave it, but will rush furiously from place to place until he is disabled; and that in no instance have any of them ever known a person to recover after having received the smallest scratch from the teeth of the rabid animal.”

– Regarding Mexican sheep herders, “whenever a member of a party became afflicted with rabies as a result of the bite of a mad wolf, his companions would seldom associate with him , believing ‘all would die if they associated with him.'”

– “To what extent rabies was a factor in the elimination of wolves east of the Mississippi to the Atlantic seaboard is not definitely known. Dodderidge was of the opinion that the wolves formerly so numerous and destructive to the cattle are now seldom heard of in our older settlements. It may seem strange that this ferocious and cunning animal, so long the scourge of the mountain districts of Europe, should have so suddenly disappeared from the country. He believed the wolves died of hydrophobia.”

– “Hutyera and Marek describe wolves throughout the world as being involved in the spread of rabies.”

Knowing about all this as I do, I am still chilled to type it out for you. Why Americans were re-exposed to this deadly threat by their own government is a travesty of unimaginable proportion. Men, women, and children will die – FOR WHAT? Those that perpetrated this, just like the USFWS big wigs that stole millions from state fish and wildlife hunting and fishing funds to illegally introduce the wolves, have no responsibility for the carnage they have and will wreak.

As an old USFWS bureaucrat I should say, “Just move along citizens, there is nothing to see here. Move along.”

As a father, grandfather, and concerned American, I say; “Wake up America. They have LIED (the right term) to you. They have taken advantage of you and betrayed you. If you do nothing about this – Nothing will ever get done.”

From the top down we are suffering from tyranny and tyranny left unchecked, like those rabid wolves, only gets worse. The Endangered Species Act should either be repealed or severely amended. Unless and until authority over animals like wolves is returned to state governments responsive to local community governments where wolves exist, rural Americans will die like Christian martyrs in the Coliseum for the entertainment of urban mobs necessary for the continued power of despots and their sycophants.

Jim Beers
15 February 2012

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Open Thread – February 16, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information concerning issues not directly related to the content of articles published on TomRemington.com. Thank you.

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Commissioner Woodcock in Response to Open Letter

*Editor’s Note* On January 26, 2012 I sent an open letter to Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and others concerning Maine’s ability through statute to control coyotes and other predators. Below is a copy of the email response I received this morning from the MDIFW commissioner’s office.

Dear Mr. Remington:

Your recent e-mail to Governor LePage has been forwarded to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for response. In your message you discuss coyote control as it relates to the deer population in Northern, Eastern, and Western Maine. Specifically, you mentioned concerns about the Department’s ability to control coyotes in Maine. I would point out that in statute (Title 12, Sec 10053 (and Sec 10105), Sub 8 the Commissioner is authorized to initiate predation control. When the statutes were recodified there were changes made to improve clarity and eliminate duplication. The sections that you mentioned in your email were eliminated as part of that recodification effort. However, the Statutes in place clearly grant the Commissioner the authority to implement a predator control program.

In fact, the Department has implemented a predator control program in selected Deer Wintering Areas in Northern Maine. The Department is also continuing to work on implementing its Game Plan for Deer. At the same time we are working with the USFWS to get the Incidental Take Plan approved and in place for trapping. The Governors office is supportive of our efforts to address the issues related to the deer population in Northern, Eastern and Western Maine. We have been working with the Maine Forest Products Council, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Sportsmen Alliance of Maine among others to address the issues of Deer Wintering Shelter, Feeding of Deer, Car-Deer mortality, and predation on Deer. The overall solution to the problem requires our attention to multiple issues working in concert with many partners. There aren’t any simple answers and in the end our success will be gained by good old fashioned hard work with people from all over the State who care about the wildlife habitat and resources. We encourage you to participate in the efforts undertaken by the Department and these groups as we move forward. Information can be found on our website relating to these issues. Thank you for your interest and advocacy on behalf of the Wildlife Resources of the State of Maine.

Sincerely,
Chandler E. Woodcock
Commissioner

This morning I took the time to offer a response to Commissioner Woodcock:

Mr. Woodcock:

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my open letter. I am fully aware of the existing laws and what they allow and do not allow, although I am not a legal expert trained in law interpretation. I also am aware and have been that you, as commissioner, hold a degree of authority for animal damage control and dealing with predation issues. That is really not the point here.

The recodification and legislative appeals process, in my humble opinion, did a bit more than, “improve clarity and eliminate duplication”.

Prior to the process of recodification and the legislative repeal of “Maine Coyote Control Program” (notice this is in capitals), the commissioner had the authority in the use of snaring under the guidelines provided by statute. We are of course, restricted by the Consent Decree.

There has to be serious discussion as to how Maine went from a coyote/predator control program, including the use of snares, to an outright ban on snaring Title 12, Section 12252 and the commissioner with authority to conduct animal damage control, with limited tools available, all through the process to, “improve clarity and eliminate duplication”.

However, I believe short of an investigation into this process by the Attorney General, on all other points I am beating a dead horse. At this point it appears the only help the State of Maine can get is approval of an Incidental Take Permit for Canada lynx that does not put any more restrictions on trapping that now already exist. What is being suggested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would so restrict trapping it would effectively eliminate it. Where would this leave our Animal Damage Control?

Hoping for the best.

Tom Remington

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Montana Wolf Hunt Season Closes – Fails to Meet Kill Quota

In my selfish gloating I am proud to state: “I told you so!“. Over three years ago I predicted that with the wolf hunt plans being discussed for Montana and Idaho, the fish and game departments would fail miserably in any quest to control wolf populations.

We find out today that as Montana closes this year’s wolf hunting season, they failed to reach the quota of killing 220 wolves. What they recorded was 162 wolves tagged, even after extending the season. This equates to a success rate of less than 1% according to KFBB.com.

And of course the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) have all the excuses why the quota wasn’t met.

Officials say the hunt has been slow for a variety of reasons. Wolves naturally try to avoid humans and they are so widespread across the region. With the lack of snow, they can be harder to track.

While these excuses hold some truth, hunters are restricted in tools necessary to kill wolves, and they’ll never accomplish the task of “control” this way. Readers should be reminded that last spring, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) put helicopters in the sky to kill wolves in the Lolo Region. Lack of snow made spotting wolves difficult and officials only killed 5 wolves.

C. Gordon Hewitt in, “The Conservation of the Wild Life of Canada“, over one hundred years ago told us what was the most effectual way to kill coyotes and wolves.

The most successful method of destroying coyotes, wolves and other predatory animals is by the organization of systematic hunting by paid hunters, receiving no bounties and working under government control. This policy is giving excellent results in the United States, as will be shown presently.

The problem is by no means a local one, nor even a provincial one; it is both interprovincial and international in character, and it is only by organization along these lines that ultimate success will be obtained. What we need is co-operation among all concerned: individuals, live-stock organizations, and governments; all of them should contribute to the funds that are needed to carry out the work after a broad policy has been formulated.

Will Graves, author of “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages“, gave his readers a laundry list of all the methods, tactics and tools the Russian Government used in an attempt to control wolf populations.

1. Drive Hunting with Flags – Large squares of cloth tied a couple feet apart and strung by rope was used to force wolves to specified areas where hunters waited in ambush.
2. Drive Hunting Without Flags
3. Hunting Over Bait
4. Call Hunting – Use of man made calls that imitate sounds that will lure wolves.
5. Scouting for and Finding Dens – This is a method used by natives in Alaska and other parts of the world. Wolves often return to the same denning areas each year. Hunters would locate these dens, remove the cubs and kill them.
6. Hunting With Russian Wolfhounds
7. Hunting on Skis
8. Hunting From Horseback
9. Trapping
10. Using Poison
11. Hunting with Eagles and Falcons
12. Hunting From Light Aircraft
13. Hunting From Helicopters
14. Hunting From Snowmobiles and Vehicles

While employment of all these methods yielded good results, Graves points out to readers that without a sustained wolf control effort, problems would persist.

Dealing with wolves worldwide over the years has always been a struggle. In my series “To Catch a Wolf“, there are numerous accounts of the ways in which people crafted tools and tactics to kill wolves.

So, what is it that wildlife officials expect? They themselves, with the assistance of helicopters can’t kill enough wolves to make it worth the effort. We have read often of efforts by game biologists trying to trap and collar/tag wolves and can’t get the job done. Yet even with that knowledge and their choice not to seek historical facts on the difficulties in controlling wolves, they somehow think a hunter, willing to contribute a few dollars, is going to take his gun and be successful in killing him a wolf? I remind readers of the less than 1% success rate.

As long as states insist that wolves and coyotes will be “big game” animals, hunted for sport by one man and one gun, citizens can expect no changes in the reduction of wolf/human encounters or any increases of game animals in areas where wolves have destroyed them.

One has to question the real goals behind wolf hunting. It certainly doesn’t appear to be population reduction to protect private property and salvage other game animals, such as deer, elk and moose.

Perhaps officials are waiting for Nature to balance itself out! Yeah, that must be what it is. Now, how does that work?

Tom Remington

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Open Thread – February 15, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information concerning issues not directly related to the content of published articles on this web site. Thank you.

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Two Psychotic Actions Don’t Equal Rational Justice

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a fringe, psychotic group that uses fraud and other unethical means to raise money to pay overblown salaries and fund programs not geared to saving or protecting animals, attempted to file a lawsuit on behalf of 5 California whales demanding the same constitutional rights as humans. PETA vs. Sea World was subsequently thrown out of court because the judge ruled animals don’t have the same rights as people.

As perverse as this kind of behavior is, it is not a position shared only by whacked-out PETA members. Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has stated publicly that he believes lawsuits should be brought on behalf of animals.

The United Nations and most animal rights groups fully support the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights which claims that animals and humans all share in the same rights.

Understandably a psychotic behavior on the part of those who support such rights equity with animals, we now learn that the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is considering filing a lawsuit against PETA that would, “represent the 25,000-plus dogs and cats that PETA has killed since 1998 whose “rights” have been violated under the 5th and 8th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution”.

While the notion in and of itself is totally asinine, those who understand the differences between rights for humans and welfare for animals, get their point. I am only assuming the announcement of consideration to sue is for the purpose of making a statement and not actually an attempt at using two wrongs to somehow come up with anything that resembles truth.

Similar to the actions of the Humane Society of the United States, these two groups solicit money from anyone from small individual donors to very wealthy celebrities. In 2009 Carrie Underwood gave $200,000 to HSUS.

Unfortunately for all the donors, they are not made aware of the fact of the tens of thousands of family pets these two groups routinely euthanize, sometimes without giving any effort to find them homes.

It is very important for individuals and organizations like the Center for Consumer Freedom to recognize and expose fraud and hypocrisy as is the case here with PETA. What is not acceptable is to use PETA’s own crack-brained ideas to allow animals to have legal representation of any kind in our courts.

We get your point. Now let’s move on.

Tom Remington

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